* Posts by Muscleguy

1501 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Ah, customers.

Oh yes, in Science I always seemed to have bosses who did not and never had done the techniques I was doing hence had no appreciation of the work and effort involved. Bane of my life.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Ooh, fun!

Over 80% of people in Scots approve of Scotgov messaging and hence Sturgeon's messaging. Her handling is less but still positive due to over reliance on WM info and strategies. We are diverging properly now, we just need to be able to close our border to those unleashed in England. Warning Polis Scotland is on the lookout for lockdown tourists so don't try and cross the border.

Cummings boosted breakings seem nil to scant up here. We disapprove of him by a huge margin.

Nope, still can't find them. Skullcandy slips Tile's gadget-tracking hardware into individual earbuds

Muscleguy Silver badge

Bet it still won't make earbuds any more recyclable. There will be a layer in the plastic seam composed just of earbuds.

Runaway Latvian drone found meditating in tree after shutting down nation's skies

Muscleguy Silver badge

I am reminded of Douglas Adams' Electric Monk from the Dirk Gently books.

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Interesting

Probably more because Estonia is THE digital place in Eastern Europe. They have gone for digital things in a big way. Remember the digital citizenship thing? So not a politic thing to drop Estonian.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

My eldest at least used to be able to swear fluently in Polish, a legacy of working in various Highland hotels where most of the kitchen, all the cleaning and half the waiting staff will be Polish. The locals usually disdain working in the local hotels. The eldest is Kiwi born so she fitted the demographic. More Kiwis than Aussies in the Highlands, we're more used to the climate.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: You vill parle Amrecianish Da!

And Scots Gaelic is a protected language very like Irish Gaelic. Which reminds me I started a Duolingo course in Scots Gaelic. I must get back to it.

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Oh No, Not Again

It is well known that the Dwellers regard Jupiter as a desert planet as it is highly deficient in water.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: It's probably full of Moties

it's a known fact that heffalumps who fall into traps are instantly transformed into people or other animals. This is why we have never observed heffalumps but lots of other creatures fall into holes. it's the only possible explanation.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Looks like a job for...

Since 2/3 of the earth's surface is ocean or sea you can't see why alien squid would not be interested in visiting here? There's also the various Jovian and Saturnian moons with ice caps and subsurface oceans they might be interested in.

We're going underground, and this time it's not an inebriated banker crapping themselves, but Transport for London

Muscleguy Silver badge


Except at places such as Elephant & Castle the route to different lines/ingress/egress is along the platform of other lines and at peak times this causes problems. Having to negotiate this at rush hour with NZ based family. I was forced to await another overstuffed train as there was simply no more room for me and my case.

We all met up at Kings X though. I feel for those who have await trains at what is a pedestrian thoroughfare masquerading as a tube platform. Why put in a through tunnel when there's a perfectly good platform?

On visits to London I am always reminded why it is good not to live there any more. Finding out that disabled accessible stations often aren't (one of the party was in a wheelchair) was embarrassing as it was I who had the info up on my phone to aid routefinding. An accessible station with a half metre step up to the train was a particularly memorable example of the disconnect.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: obvious

Male mice actually have rather large balls in terms of body size. Lots of sperm competition if you're a mouse. Big balls go with levels of sperm competition.

Penis size is inversely proportionate to number of partners impregnated. So mice and chimps have big balls and small dicks. Supposedly monogamous humans who have to pleasure a partner to keep her are relative well endowed in the dick department but deficient in the ball size. Having mouse or chimp sized balls swinging between your thighs would lead to lots of OUCH. Male chimps swagger more bandy legged than we do so can accommodate large balls comfortably.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

Muscleguy Silver badge


The pub opening date will apply to England only as the Devolve Nations are doing our own thing since we value health and wellbeing over big bucks unlike Boris' England only rules.

So I will continue to source my beer from Aldi on my weekly shopping expeditions. I buy English beer (Wychwood) and Scottish beer (Harviestoun). I buy good beer regardless of where it's from.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Why don't they join the ends?

We also take rings from rings. This 3 bed house had an extension built to get that 3rd bedroom and move the kitchen into it and get a dining room. It was unconsented and there's various naughtiness. We got a leak in the extension flat roof on our side but the water came into next door: No party wall in the roof.

The power for the kitchen (except interestingly for the Oven/range) is looped off the upstairs ring. The water did come through my roof, through the ceiling rose. BANG! I lost light upstairs and in the kitchen. I was cooking by headtorch.

It's all fixed now, shiny new, insulated, roof covering. I could replace the blown ceiling rose and hey presto there was light. The ring still comes off upstairs.

Oh yes. Years ago I was awaiting the Cable installers and had pulled the TV etc out of the corner. I pulled the downstairs sockets fuse and used the time to investigate why the socket there didnae work. There was a flash (insulated screwdriver in operation) and the light went out. There's a standard lamp fixed wire outlet along the wall and they had looped the socket from it, on the lighting circuit and fuses.

I crawled under the house, found a connection box with a spare terminal in easy reach of the cable from the errant socket which they could have used. I used it after taking the single box out and chopping out a bigger hole to provide a double socket properly spurred off the socket ring.

We also bought a standard lamp and actually used the outlet properly.

Then there was the time I had to rebuild the shoddy, non Zed, back gate. The flex to the garage went across the top of the gate on a piece of wood. I lifted it to enable a new gatepost and there was flash. It was ordinary grey indoor flex and years of sunlight had destroyed the insulation. So a new gate also became run properly surface rated armoured cable to the garage. It goes along the ground: there's a small step from the back pavers to the drive and it runs in a custom channel made from some angle iron then up the gatepost and into the garage. The angle iron protects it from rubbish bin wheels. It does not rub the cable.

The Zed gate has been there for nearly 20 years now and is still going strong. Just replaced a broken leaf hinge. It's good for another 5-10 years at least. I do things properly.

Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: a family's activity to be monitored

it's like the online shops who demand a login and personal info before you can even browse to know if you are interested. There will come a time when you have to present your implanted chip to the reader to be allowed to do anything.

In China your ability to do lots of things can be restricted if you are not a 'good citizen' limiting the scope of dissent.

Nine in ten biz applications harbor out-of-date, unsupported, insecure open-source code, study shows

Muscleguy Silver badge

Or that there isn't a commercial equivalent which bundles everything you need (because licences) and getting two commercial packages to talk to each other is another kettle of fish. So you go open source components instead.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Muscleguy Silver badge

I always maintained that the coffee in the Student Union canteen tasted like sump oil. It used a continual brew system so heaven knows what sludge was in the machine.

In my holiday job in the bike shop a waggish colleague on Sat AM put lubricating oil in my snatched cup of coffee. As I took an unsuspecting gulp my first thought was 'this tastes like Union coffee'. I rest my case on my initial judgement.

Fortunately since the mide '80s coffee culture in NZ has changed utterly. Sometimes a bit over pretentiously but very good coffee can be had all around the country now.

More automation to suddenly look like a jolly good idea as businesses struggle through coronavirus crisis, say analysts

Muscleguy Silver badge

Colour Blindness

It's supposed to be Black Swan events guy. Before Europeans got to Australia all swans they knew about were white. So the Black Swan became like the unicorn, a very rare thing. Except if you live in parts of Australia or NZ where black swans are common.

A White Swan event would be something very common, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now Red or Green or Blue Swans, that would be a thing. No spray painting the local wildlife though.

Meteorite's tiny secrets reveal Solar System's sodium-rich, alkaline liquid past – a clue to formation of life

Muscleguy Silver badge

Amino No!

Um amino acids don't get you life. Life is things replicating and amino acids and peptides made from them do not replicate.

The best handle we have on how replicators got started is the RNA World Hypothesis. RNA strings can be both information store and enzyme. So RNA strings can replicate themselves or get together with others to do replication. Proteins made from amino acids only come in later. Possibly even after DNA began to be used as the more stable information store.

Both the RNA polymerase complex which reads DNA into RNA and the ribosome which reads RNA strings to make proteins are largely made of RNAs. If you take the modern ribosome and strip out all the protein components and some of the more modern RNAs what you have left still makes protein. It is slow and buggy but it works and buggy can have advantages in exploring morphospace in terms of functional variants. Remember some of our genes can be read in different ways (paragraph skipping) producing different variant proteins even today.

But the RNA only ribosome tells how you bootstrap from a world of RNA replicators to one with proteins as well. RNA may be able to be enzymes but proteins can do far, far more in the enzyme and structural world.

At what stage did all this get enclosed in a membrane? were not sure but it could have been after proteins. Think pores in black smokers at the mid ocean ridges It's been calculated that temp differences in the pores could act like a PCR machine.

Today rna strings are very vulnerable in the environment, our fingertips drip rnases all the time. To work with RNA in the lab you MUST wear gloves. Which is why Covid-19 wraps itself in a membrane. Yes it's an RNA virus.

Singapore releases the robot hounds to enforce social distancing in parks

Muscleguy Silver badge

To this biologist

The movement does not look dog or mammalian like. It looks arthropodic. Think 4 legged spider or a crab. It’s the lack of flexibility mammalian legs have and that the hip action is just WRONG.

Can you tell as a scientist I’ve described a number of mutant/knockout mice with muscle/movement problems? It moves worse than a Meox2 knockout mouse which is missing muscles around the shoulders and a lot of the others have pulled out of their tendons.

Go on, hit Reply All. We dare you. We double dare you. Because Office 365 will defeat your server-slamming ways

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: User education

Agreed, though it is annoying to carefully craft a question/complaint and find it has not been read.

Surge in Zoom support requests was 'unexpected', says tool team as it turns taps down

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: bug Not surprised

I do private science tutoring which means online only during the lockdown. Despite changing the sound input settings from line In to onboard in the Settings (Mac) the tutoring site's online classroom software defaults to line In and instantly puts you into a test of your system making changing it back difficult, unless you just click 'Yes it works' on the test and then fix it . . .

The system works fine without a headset and it looks much better. Also my el cheapo headset's microphone doesn't work (got a refund told to keep it, put off other el cheapo versions).

FYI: Your browser can pick up ultrasonic signals you can't hear, and that sounds like a privacy nightmare to some

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: if Google really cared ...

Enable Developer, Settings: Developer: Running Services: Background services.

On startup I have a routine which removes things which automatically load themselves. Why should Text to Speak need to load itself when I have not invoked it? My email apps are set to only download when run and told to. Yet they all load on startup.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: It's the microphone, not the browser

I kept running out of RAM on my too old Android phone and noticed a common miscreant was Play Services. So I deleted all its data.

Oh and the Google App has been denied permission to use the microphone from the start. The idea that my phone or anything is constantly listening to me gives me the creeps. I do NOT want.

I don't want a 'smart' TV either. And a lot of the promise is bogus. Predictive text is supposed to learn from you, but mine doesn't. Perhaps because I have a very large vocab and seek to use it and not talk in cliches like a lot of people do. Predictive text has been relegated to offering me suggestions below the line which are frequently useless. It can't even do grammar, offering me ungrammatical options instead of the right one.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: The wolf enrobed in penguin feathers.

I'm trying to get my head around how flummoxed the Bronze Age Trojans would have been if they were faced with a large wooden model of a Southern Hemisphere only animal. It would have to be in swimming/tobogganing mode as standing would be too top heavy for wheels/sled.

It would have to be painted as well and there is nothing in Homer about the Horse being painted.

Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Priorities?

What about those of us with lots of relatives in the Antipodes. 2000miles doesn't get you very far on the way to NZ.

But don't worry I've been back just three times since 1993.

First it became Middle Earth, now New Zealand will transform into Azure region number 60

Muscleguy Silver badge

From back then is the stat that NZ had more fax machines per head than anywhere except Japan. Sending a fax was faster than the mail or courier for time critical documents. Durng my PhD while applying for stuff I faxed some quite big things.

How to adapt to business life despite the Tyranny of Distance.

Another related problem is time difference. Currently it's 11 hours, it can be 12 or 13.

Muscleguy Silver badge

" extreme geographic resilience"

Um you do know the locals refer to them as The Shaky Isles? Natural disasters are so possible in NZ that on the inside back cover of the phone book is your local Civil Defence information. Living on the former salt marsh of South Dunedin less than 200m from the beach ours was Tsunami risk. My sister on their former 'lifestyle block' on the flanks of the Taranaki Volcano it was Lahar risk. My other sisters in Auckland have to worry about another volcanic cone opening in the Auckland Volcanic Field (last erupted about 1200ACE forming Rangitoto Island, a blink of an eye geologically).

In the centre of the North Island is a large round photogenic lake, with hot water beaches and views of the Tongariro Volcano to the South (with Ngarahohe (mount Doom) and Ruapehu south of that). Lake Taupo is a caldera and it too has blown relatively recently.

The scientists say the Main Divide fault at the plate boundary in the South Island (see those lovely snow capped peaks running as a spine?) is due to let go. It could make the Kaikoura 7.9 (2-9m uplift) look like a picnic. NZGov is focussed on making towns, cities, communities more locally resilient so they can survive cut off from anywhere else for longer.

Nobody in their right mind would rely on being safe in NZ. It is lovely and the danger is manageable (nobody was directly killed by the Kaikoura quake but only because it happened in the Early Hours) the main highway got steps put in it and/or the rails from the railway shunted onto it or the Mountains fell on it. There were fears of motorists under the landslides but nobody was.

There were two Christchurch quakes, the first was also early hours and caused facade collapses. Those killed people in the midday big one. No infrastructure can be built to survive metres of uplift or liquifaction. They're still finding and fixing broken pipes in ChCh.

If you are thinking of a NZ bolthole stock it well with dried or canned food, don't rely on frozen and a shedload of bottled water. Oh and accessible camping gear if your main lair is uninhabitable and batteries/windups/solar or wind generators. Which forms a large part of the bug out package households in NZ are recommended to have. My daughter in Dunedin and her husband have one. Their house is on a slope and could easily slide down it in a Big One or just break. NZ houses are code built not to fall on your head in a quake. They are not built to survive and be habitable afterwards.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

Muscleguy Silver badge

Fruitcakes Anonymous

Early last year I was employed to take groups of long term unemployed persons and engage them as a discussion group of modern methods of job applications in the online only age and also give them Wellbeing advice. In the first group was this guy who was just a sponge for all things conspiracy allied to a weird mishmash of religious crapshit. He was a real pain as well and would not shut up about stuff despite NOBODY else being the slightest bit interested.

But here’s the killer, he lives just along the road from me and I have to encounter him fairly regularly. Me, a PhD Scientist and therefore obviously a signed up member of the Illuminati (they never invite me to the their shindigs mind and I’ve forgotten the password for the lair). I’m afraid the demise of Ick’s sites come Far, far too late for this guy, he is frootloop Central.

His first comment to me on discovering I’d been a scientist was ‘so science has confirmed that god exists, hasn’t it?’ he looked really crestfallen when I gave him a most firm NO. We were not going to get on after that.

What does £55 get you in the noise-cancelling headphones world? Something like the Taotronics SoundSurge 85

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: A+ would buy again

I started running seriously as a 14yo back in the early ‘80s when taking the music with you required you to balance a ghetto blaster on your shoulder. The Sony Walkman came out but it was heavy and with tapes only lasting 20min a side (no auto double sides back then) and thus only 40min each when my runs were usually 60min plus.

So I never got into the habit. And now I value my unimpeded ears. I can hear the wind in the trees, the waves on the beach the birdsong and the bike behind me on the cycle path, the engine noise from the hidden driveway ahead and the car decelerating behind me as I approach the side road.

I value all of them. I’d be walking with my wife and pulling her over before she knew why as soon as the first noise of cycle gears hit my ears I’m now so attuned. I’m usually making sure I’m well over before the warning bell these days. And as the daylight streams towards a northern midsummer there’ll be no warning of headlights.

Already it’s possible to tell where the sun is it crosses the northern sky as a lightening on the horizon. So you can go roaming in the gloaming, so long as it is within the Covid-19 rules of course

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Where do I put the Oxygen-free cable?

Just get Covid-19 for oxygen reduction. Medics are apparently flummoxed by punters, sorry patients turning up at hospital with blood O2 levels normally resulting in non consciousness with said patients sitting up talking but being a bit delirious.

Health Warning: apparently such patients may survive for up to 10 days but most don’t make it.

Bye, Russia: NASA wheels out astronauts, describes plan for first all-American manned launch into orbit since 2011

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: All auto?

To be fair there isn't much to collide with on the way up, is there? No white long loaders, no concrete dividers, no old ladies pushing bikes in the dark.

Also Tesla always say it is not an Auto Pilot, it's a driver assist unit and the driver should always have their hands on the wheel, their foot over the brake and be alert ready to take over. Most of the accidents have been people failing to do that. I expect that happens a lot as people 'I'll just do this' because they can. Just like with normal cars it's all the normal lapses of attention which are a problem, it's the lapses at the wrong moment which are.

And there's the mistakes. I still vividly recall the time not long after I got my license (aged 15) when I pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and surprisingly managed to get the car in the closing gap between the car turning and the car coming out of the side road. I'm still not sure how I managed it. That they should both have been giving way to me doesn't change the issue, they weren't.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Way Cool...

I wonder how long it will take for SpaceX to catch up with Boeing's pork barrel govt pricing structures. Though I suppose with the fiasco of the 737 Max Boeing need all the cash they can get. Though flying in a Boeing capsule you would wonder how many testing shortcuts they have made. The failure of their last launch being a case in point.

I also note that SpaceX took the least from NASA to develop a moon lander. If I was a US taxpayer I would want to buy SpaceX where possible. They look like good value for money.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

Muscleguy Silver badge

The tester is described as being an engineer and probably was. Therefore someone methodical and used to the logic of testing things such as what if x fails? what if y fails? etc.

My father was an engineer. My attempts at self designed Meccano models had a harsh, but constructive critic.

He worked for NZ Rail and part of his job was testing and certifiying machinery such as cranes. He had overalls for when he needed to clamber over things. He said that was something he enjoyed. He ws the sort of guy who would need to eyeball and knock every pneumatic joint, assess clearances, look for cracks etc. How might this thing fail?

In NZ whenever there's an earthquake nothing runs while people on little motorised tractors trundle over the lines checking nothing has fallen in the tunnels, the bridge connections are intact (some of the bridges are designed to break the line if the quake is big enough so the bridge can sway independently). i expect these days they also use drones.

Browse mode: We're not goofing off on the Sidebar of Shame and online shopping sites, says UK's Ministry of Defence

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: world's biggest English-language news website

You forgot their eternal quest to divide the world into things which cause or cure cancer.

Muscleguy Silver badge


<quote> because central government fears the effects of public opinion.</quote>

Not something needed here in Scotland. If they listened to public opinion Trident would be gone from Faslane and Coulport, RAF Leuchars would still be in operation, Scottish troops would not have taken part in the illegal war in Iraq etc. etc.

This is why Devo Max would not work because there are too many points of contention between Scotland and Westminster over Defence and Foreign Affairs. Disgruntlement over these is a prime recruitment sergeant for Yes in the Independence debate. Scottish CND is very Yes because that is the easiest route to gettting Trident out of Faslane and Coulport.

You probably don't hear about it down South but protests at Faslane are ongoing and regularly manage to block access to the site stopping workers getting in. A permanent Peace Camp is occupied 24/7 there. The SNP know that any deal they make over Trident will be strongly protested if it lets the MoD have any wriggle room. The anger could close the base prematurely if we are pushed hard enough.

I think they should be put on notice the day after a Yes vote to build more bunkers at Aldermaston to put all the warheads in. Then the disarmed boats can be parked somewhere outside Scotland, along with the rusting hulks parked at Rosyth (you can see them Google Earth. The UK has not scrapped a single nuclear sub. Some of them still have fuel in their reactors. The US and Russia have shown how to do it, you have to lift them out and cut them into sections to allow sufficient access. But that all has to be contained. So it probably cannot happen at Rosyth, too built up. But UKgov have failed to bite the necessary bullet. Leaving them at Rosyth is out of sight and out of mind for Westminster mandarins and politicians. Holyrood must make it a high priority, either they are removed properly or we tow them south of the Tweed and beach them.

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: What's Really Behind This?

I live somewhere which has an RNLI lifeboat station (inshore and offshore capacity). The site of cars heading down the hill with lights on and the sign on the dashboard is not unusual. I had a neighbour who was a volunteer. Their building and wharf on the waterfront is hard to miss.

In that situation their work and parsimony is noticeable. I have not been rescued by them but when I know they have been called out in strong wind, heavy rain and winter dark and cold I cannot help but appreciate their dedication.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Muscleguy Silver badge


If you are careful there is usually some unused space on the edges of cards which can be removed to better allow insertion into tight spaces. Personally I would have deployed a file or perhaps a sureform plane to give more control, but the saw obviously did the job and probably quicker. The guy might have done parquetry as a hobby and been well practiced with it. I’m a dab hand with various sorts of wood planes. Eschewing noisy, dangerous, sawdust spewing machines I have been manually sawing the sides of grooves with a rip cut tenon saw then removing the filling with a modern router plane. I also have a teeny, tiny old Stanley router plane which is excellent for delicate work and in tight places.

Soon I shall tongue and groove some boards with a matched pair of wooden planes, the sort with a wooden wedge holding the blade which you adjust with a judicious tap on toe or heel.

All these things produce safe shavings instead of dangerous sawdust and mean I can listen to the radio or the bird song while I work.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Re Cycle Wheels

'Twas ever thus. I spent my university breaks working in a large cycle shop. Large enough to have a dedicated racing section with a dedicated employee (who raced) staffing it.

This was the mid '80s but allow everything was the big deal, carbon fibre was almost there but hadn't really landed. But the alloys could be made lighter and lighter, at a price. Super light but strong all alloy wheels could set you back a pretty penny and they had to be built up from parts, they didn't come off the shelf. That was usually done for you of course. Building a new hi-spec racer from scratch took a long time.

Things have of course moved on, first came carbon fibre frames.

It's official! Space travel increases the brain size of astronauts, even when they're back on Mother Earth

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: This is a spanner in the works.

It could be worse than that with Mars travellers being incapacitated for weeks after landing on Mars. Assuming they have somewhere to live built by robots sent previously of course. Though they might need robots to carry the 'nauts from the lander into the habs as well. Better send a neuroscientist and an optician along as well.

BTW you know the deep, long nasal breathing thing we do during sleep? Turns out that induces the CSF to flow back down to the spinal cord where it drains into the lymph carrying metabolites with it. Which is part of why sleep is so important. It enables the brain to take out the rubbish. No or not enough sleep and the rubbish affects function.

Apple: We respect your privacy so much we've revealed a little about what we can track when you use Maps

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Week days

Well it would depend, wouldn't it. Maybe public transport is too crowded for social distancing so you brushed the cobwebs from the bike in the shed and got peddling but confused about where the cycle paths are or just had to drive to work instead. We have a friend who would need satnav guidance to do something like that. Me, I have a photographic memory for routes.

I could probably still do the across North London to Heathrow avoiding the North Circular and joining the motorway only a couple of changes short of the terminals we worked out when we lived down there.

I've been to my separated wife's new place once but I could drive/bus-walk/cycle/run there no problem. I once got my mother who was visiting down from Dundee to my cousin's rural place near Macclesfield on a remembered map (I was driving so couldn't look).

But not everyone is like me. Was also astonished that when the kids started to learn to drive it turned out they had paid not the slightest attention to how to get anywhere whilst being driven about all those years.

We lost another good one: Mathematician John Conway loses Game of Life, taken by coronavirus at 82

Muscleguy Silver badge

The Game of Life excited us Biologists as well. Dawkins writes about it in The Selfish Gene. He is mourned here in Biology too.

Animal crossing? Nah! Farmyard frolics, courtesy of Novell and pals

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

Let me guess, you work at an Agricultural college or a Vet School? Though the Roslyn Farm is a wee way from the shiny new campus now.

Ransomware scumbags leak Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX documents after contractor refuses to pay

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Anti-mortar system?

Just to nitpick slightly but mortars go crump, not thump. I'm slightly expert since the Barry Buddon military training firing range is within earshot of Muscleguy Towers, especially if the wind is from the East.

The lower cycle path between here and Carnoustie goes right past it, on their side of the railway line. I have run along there with an absolutely furious fusillade of automatic fire sounding from the right without an issue. They let wander around when the flags are not flying and all the ranges have high earthen berms behind them and none face inland, just in case.

Though they usually fire the mortars while I'm returning along the upper path by the A92 to Arbroath but the sound carries well up the hill so I'm familiar with the sound. Most of us can discern side arms, grenades, light automatic, heavy automatic and light artillery such as mortars which go Crump.

If post viral lockdown anyone is interested in taking such a stroll drive to Monifieth centre and follow the signs to the beach where you leave the car. Walk to the shoreline and follow the path above the beach, if the flags are not flying. There should be a squaddy in the guard box to prevent you as well. They are very careful. There's even a marine exclusion zone as they are wont to put target pontoons out for the heavier stuff. You are strongly advised to leave anything interesting you might come across well alone though.

It is also a good example of undeveloped coastlal Links which have not been turned into a golf course if you want an idea of how golf got started. You can walk all the way out to the lighthouses on the point as well.

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Double ejection

I have encountered the being up a glen side here in Scotland when the peace is absolutely shattered by a military jet screaming by and you being on a level with the pilot.

It's a good job grouse are not good flyers though a military jet might just chew one up no damage. Though we do get skeins of geese honking through the skies in Autumn and through the Winter. One or more of those would do an engine some damage.

Sadly I haven't been in the Glens often enough recently to tell whether the move of the planes from Leuchars over the Tay to Lossiemouth (affected often by fog) has reduced the number of flights up the Angus Glens. The high cost of Trident is distorting conventional forces and they are pared to the bone. Also HMG is deliberately running down and selling off state assets in Scotland, thinking about the inevitability of the coming divorce.

Though if they expect Scotland to join NATO and let them know if Russian Bears are heading down the North Sea towards England it will have to negotiate that. The clusterfuck of the negotiations with Europe do not bode well so we might have you over a barrel over lots fo stuff post Independence. Don't say you weren't warned. If Boris is in charge you will be in trouble. Also the EU will be watching over our shoulders and helping us out. The Auld Alliance is about to expand.

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Double ejection

Maximum heart rate declines with age, the usual equation is 220 minus age which puts a new pensioner (65) at 135 assuming no history of ongoing athletic endeavour. So he would have been near max before takeoff.

I'm 54 but a lifelong distance runner and I have recent evidence that my Max HR is at least 180. I cruise at the low 160s and still able to up that to run outside the railings by the school* with a car approaching from behind (I pride myself on it).

*They wrap around the corner a long way. I employ the same trick to speed up Mo Farrah does I realised once. No fancy, dodgy Seattle coach required.

Low-orbit internet banking fraud claim alleged to be a load of space junk

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Perhaps, Perhaps not

Consider how solid and heavy terrestrial ATM's are that crooks have to hotwire diggers to extract them the cost of boosting one into orbit would likely dwarf the license fees from its use. Also since the US and Russian crew ratios vary keeping it sufficiently full of Roubles and Dollars would not be easy.

You in for a curl up and dye? Yeah, looks like the same for this screen in a hairdressers

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: World

Careful there, could go back to the 1918 flu. Most of us should be descended from those who survived or were suffiicently immune but maybe not. Ditto if we reset to the Black Death of the Middle Ages or when cholera first arose.

Perhaps back to when measles first spread from cattle to humans and we had absolutely no immunity. That sounds fun, not.

History is replete with pestilences we could go back to. Back when you relied on your local witch doctor/priest/minister. At least in the Middle Ages the medics had some PPE though it is still not sure if the Black Death was breath infectious or not. It might have become so. Which means the getup might have been actually useful and would work for SARS or Covid-19. Though it would require careful removal and hot laundry in between patients and all that hygiene stuff wasn't appreciated back then so like Dr's ties, now ditched for scrubs on the wards the dreads might have spread the contagion.

Folk in the future will doubtless look at even the best (Sth Korea, New Zealand) and sneer at the naiveté and crudeness. We have pcr and antibody tests (I have done lots of pcr for many things) yet rolling it out sufficiently even with Sth Korea's example seems beyond a supposedly advanced country like the UK. But then Sth Korea's democracy is still a work in progress whilst ours is sclerotic. We can't even reform the absurd, ruritanian House of Lords. We share with only Iran the shame of unelected senior clerics sitting in our legislature as of right. Archbishop = Ayatollah, often down to the beards and headgear and robes.

And note NONE of this should apply to Scotland since we Disestablished our Kirk back in the early '70s. Yet it does. Until recently the Episcopal Church in Scotland styled itself The Church In Scotland, the definite article should be emphasised. We staged an armed rebellion over having a prayer book and bishops imposed on the infant Presbyterian Kirk. Historians date the start of what you think of as the English Civil War to the Bishops Wars in Scotland. Scots Covenanter armies even took part south of the Border and remember when Chuck the second took refuge here we took him captive and packed him off for trial.

The 6th of this month marked the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in which, amongst other fine sentiments we asserted our right to dispense with monarchs who did not measure up. Charles should have taken account of that, but didn't. Post Independence don't assume we will agree to who the English (and Welsh though they won't be consulted) think should be the next monarch. We might insist on a separate coronation again. Outside on Boot Hill at Scone.

I'm a Republican but that would tickle me. Charles might even go for it though he seems sensibly wary of that name as monarch. Such superstition. If we sent him packing I'm sure he wouldn't lose his head over it. Though The Maiden in the Museum of Scotland looks in working order . . .

Not only is Zoom's strong end-to-end encryption not actually end-to-end, its encryption isn't even that strong

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: Why do so many businesses seem to need video?

If you are teaching or tutoring or explaining something to someone you need to be able to look at their eyes. It has been shown that when we get something our pupils expand. Hence the light of understanding.

I first consciously experienced this when demonstrating labs in my honours year. IF you do not see this then you have to interrogate the student about their understanding until they do. Be very careful with Japanese or other Asian people as admitting a teacher has not explained something well is not considered polite as it shames the teacher. However as a teacher I need to know if the student has grocked something or not. I also need to know when working with colleagues whose English may not be the best.

Looking for these little signs can be important. If I’m looking at the laptop cam I can’t see this. It’s fleeting as well, not something you can look away and come back to.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly

Muscleguy Silver badge

Re: ESA have been working on urine recyc for years on the ISS

Since limestone is made from the skeletons of old shell bearing sea beasties the presence of limestone on the moon would be HUGE news. Those ‘seas’ being real seas once and not just once, long enough for life to evolve shelled animals.


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